Friday, April 23, 2010

Qantas CEO tries to talk sense into Andrew Bolt

...but to no avail.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce, interviewed on Bolt’s radio station regarding the Iceland volcanic ash emergency, has ever-so-politely refused to be sucked into Bolt’s narcissistic moral panic.

Mr Joyce is a brilliant guy and true conservative.


Clearly Alan Joyce was nowhere near sufficiently on message for Bolt’s purposes. In his entire approach to the matter Joyce in fact epitomised the conservatism Bolt farcically claims for himself.

Bolt kept hammering the Niki Lauda quote (“It was one of the biggest mistakes in aviation history to close airspace for a long period without having the right facts and figures”), and tried to goad Joyce into taking a comparable position. Then after Joyce signed off, Bolt had of course to give it one more emphatic run to drive home the meme to which he’s clearly now emotionally committed.

Bolt closed the segment saying that “without a doubt” litigation by international carriers against civil aviation authorities will ensue, which if it eventuates he’ll undoubtedly trumpet as vindication of the crusade he’s whipped up over this.

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Transport Trivia Friday

Presenting milestones in Victoria’s transport landscape...

This week: 1972


Construction resumes on the $75m West Gate Bridge project after an 18 month delay, following its catastrophic collapse in October 1970.


Legislation is introduced requiring Victorians to obtain a learner’s permit before they can start driving.

The first of Melbourne’s new stainless-steel Hitachi trains enters service on the suburban network.

Next week: 1973 ! !

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Andrew Bolt in bid for more attention, cash, power

It seems Andrew Bolt has decided that the shutdown of European aviation, due to “alarmism” over the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland, is intrinsically linked to the global warmalarmist conspiracy.

It’s all somehow connected, don’t you see? Somehow...

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Greg Sheridan makes self perfectly obscure

Greg Sheridan remarked on the ABC’s Q&A program last week:

Refugee status itself is tremendously subjective, especially when people don’t have documents. I’ve interviewed, over the years, hundreds of people who assess people for refugee status and they’ll say, “If you tell me to pass 90 per cent, I can pass 90 per cent. If you tell me to reject 90 per cent, I can reject 90 per cent.”

No-one apparently took Greg up on this curious statement. Not being myself an avid reader of Sheridan, my only resort has been google, which yielded the following quote of former Australian immigration minister Philip Ruddock from a Sheridan column last November:

If you look at these populations in Tehran, Damascus and Amman, when the UNHCR did the processing you had about 10 per cent accepted as refugees. By the time these people got through Australia’s processing the figure was about 90 per cent. It built an expectation that nobody knew how to prove whether or not you were a refugee.

Connect the dots if you can...

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Monday, April 19, 2010

The healthy economy that asylum seekers bring

After being closed eight years ago, the Curtin Detention Centre in a remote region of Western Australia is to be reopened. It will accommodate Afghani and Sri Lankan asylum seekers while processing of their claims has been suspended by the Rudd Government, until at least after the next election.

Elsia Archer, president of the remote municipality in which Curtin is located, is quite upbeat about the opportunities in a detention-led economy.

There can be some business for the town and some work for people if they so want to go and work there. Having worked in the last one when it was there, there can be some quite good spin-offs for the shire. I ran a little shop for the resies... I thought it was good. I mean, you get your ups and downs in places like that but probably no different to a prison.

The only downside according to Ms Archer is the “discontent” — meaning, riots by detainees. But “there was only a couple though.”

It’s only a matter of time before more local politicians catch on and will want a detention centre or prison to service their constituency.

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